If apple picking is a fall tradition for you, here are some options for a day trip or to include in your itinerary for your weekend about to Lake Geneva or Harbor Country. Predictions are that early October will make for good Fall Foliage road trips. [Read more…]
Summer may be winding down, but there is still time to sneak in a few outdoor gatherings before the temperature drops. We’ve talked about maximizing small outdoor spaces and important patio prep tips, and now we’re sharing an assortment of décor pieces and accessories that will help elevate your outdoor entertaining space for a Labor Day barbecue or end-of-summer bash. Whether you are looking to completely deck out your space or just add a few pieces, here are some of our favorite items:
Add versatility and practicality to your outdoor lighting with a standing (or hanging) wire lantern. The wire design offers a unique take on the traditional outdoor lantern.
- Pier 1 – Large Black Wire Woven Lantern
- CB2 – Swoon Large Black Hurricane
- Article – Bori Large Black Lantern
Tie together your furniture with a neutral area rug. A braided or woven texture adds interest and hides signs of wear and stains. Look for fabrics that are stain-resistant and easy-to-clean in the event of an accidental spill.
- Rugs.com – 5’ x 8’ Outdoor Basic Rug
- West Elm – Woven Cable Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Natural, 5’ x 8’
- Restoration Hardware – Braided Loop Rug, 5’ x 7’
Copper Fire Pit
As the temperature cools down, gather friends and family around the copper fire pit for a bit of warmth and s’mores. Just be sure your neighborhood does not have ordinances in place that prevent the use of a fire pit.
- Hayneedle – Sunnydaze Décor Royal Copper Cauldron
- All Modern – Copper Metal Wood Burning Fire Pit
- Crate & Barrel – Vitale Solid Copper Firepit
Block the sun’s rays with an umbrella in your outdoor entertaining space. You can purchase a stand for easy relocation and positioning or use it in the umbrella hole of your patio table.
- Hayneedle – Abble 6.5 ft. Steel Square Patio
- Joss & Main – Billingham 6′ Square Market Umbrella
- Wayfair – Stambaugh 6’ Market Umbrella
Be the “hostess with the mostess” when you effortlessly roll out drinks for your guests. This convenient and stylish backyard accessory is a necessity for maintaining optimal beverage freshness.
- Wayfair – 80 Qt. Patio Rolling Cooler
- CB2 – Rolling Cooler
- Home Depot – 100 Qt./25 Gal. Stainless Steel Wheeled Cooler
Add appeal and comfort to your outdoor sofa or lounge chair with patterned pillows. Look for water and mildew resistant options for easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Target – Square Cabana Stripe Outdoor Pillow
- Crate & Barrel – Sunbrella® Cabana Stripe Black 20” Sq. Outdoor Pillow
- Peri Golden – Martin Stripes Pillow
Activities and Games
Bring your guests together with games that are perfect for any outdoor get-together. Whether they’re tossing bean bags or playing a game of ladder ball, they’ll definitely enjoy the lighthearted competition.
Written by Deanna Kane
For city dwellers, having outdoor space is the ultimate goal. If your urban home is equipped with a tiny yard, balcony, or rooftop, maximize every inch to create your own metropolitan oasis. A few tweaks can turn the tiniest outdoor space into a livable, beautiful retreat.
1. Add foliage
Just because you have limited space does not mean you have to sacrifice greenery. Fill your outdoor space with potted plants and vibrant hanging flowers to add color to the area. Small outdoor spaces are also perfect for growing a vertical garden, by securing small flower pots to a lattice screen, or even by planting vines to crawl up the screen. If your thumb is not that green, artificial potted boxwoods lend a polished look to any space. Artificial boxwood hedges also create a clean look, while providing privacy.
2. Accessorize the space
Amp up accessories to maximize the cozy factor. Begin with an outdoor accent rug to anchor the area. Add colorful outdoor pillows and cushions to the seating options, and display a small outdoor bar cart to create an extension of your indoor living room. When the lakefront breeze picks up, have a basket of cotton blankets by the door to stay warm, allowing you to continue to enjoy the fleeting summer evenings.
Garden stools are also a small, outdoor space staple. They are multi-functional and can be used as extra seating, a food rest or to set a beverage. For privacy, outdoor curtains or privacy screens add visual appeal while helping to block out city noise, or too-close neighbors.
3. Plant an herb garden
There is something about growing your own herbs that makes cooking feel more special. Herbs are a low maintenance edible plant that are easy to grow, take up minimal space, and can lend a delicious aroma to the area.
4. Create a dining space
If your outdoor space doesn’t allow for a full table, rely on bistro tables to do the job. Whether you space them out or group them together, having several bistro tables provides a place to serve a meal for a small group. For more informal seating, a bench with outdoor cushions and pillows, surrounded by garden stools and several outdoor ottomans is a perfect place to curl up with a book or to enjoy cocktails and apps, al fresco.
5. Add lighting
Lighting is the finishing touch to creating a cozy outdoor living space. As you sit outside taking in the skyline, watching the traffic below, or catching a glimpse of Lake Michigan in the distance, string lights or lanterns complete the scene when creating your own private urban outdoor oasis.
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When preparing to sell your home, it’s important to consider every step that will increase its appeal to potential buyers. While the existing color scheme made it feel like home to you, pressing the reset button to neutral will help potential buyers envision themselves living in the house. Skip the paint research-induced headaches by using these no-fail staging paint selections, and watch the sold sign go up in no time.
All-Over Neutral: Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter
This greige hue is a go-to choice to create a neutral backdrop in open areas. The grey-beige color can appear both warm and cool, depending on lighting. Pair Revere Pewter with white trim for a polished, neutral look.
Suggested rooms: Open spaces, such as family rooms or open concept layouts.
Go-To Gray: Sherwin Williams Crushed Ice
This pale gray option blends in with virtually every design style. Whether your home is traditional, transitional or modern, Crushed Ice will seamlessly blend in the background, letting your home’s selling features shine.
Suggested rooms: This chameleon color can be used throughout the house.
Calming Blue: Benjamin Moore Blue Veil
Help your home evoke vibes of peacefulness and calm, from the minute potential buyers walk through the door. This cool pale blue has enough color to subtly stand out, but not enough to dominate the space.
Suggested rooms: The entryway, gathering spaces or bedrooms.
All-Over White: Benjamin Moore Simply White
With countless white paint options to choose from, it can be the most difficult color to select. This clean white has both warm and cool hues, making it work with a variety of decor styles and appeal to many different tastes.
Suggested rooms: This crisp shade can help entryways or sun-drenched spaces shine.
Create Space: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace
This bright white can make any space appear larger. Crisp, yet soft, this hue creates a fresh, while cozy vibe. Use this color in rooms you want to create the illusion of additional space.
Suggested rooms: To brighten — and enlarge — a kitchen or master bathroom.
Distract from Poor Lighting: Benjamin Moore White Dove
White Dove works wonders in rooms with poor lighting. Use this shade in rooms without overhead lighting, or in rooms with limited natural light. The soft white hues stay true to color, regardless of the level of light.
Suggested rooms: In the basement, office or bedrooms without sunlight.
Dramatic Neutral: Benjamin Moore Kendall Charcoal
When you think of neutrals, light hues typically come to mind. However, a dark neutral adds intrigue and style, while making a space memorable to buyers. A dark paint selection also has the ability to make a small space appear larger.
Suggested rooms: This cool, sophisticated color is perfect for an office, dining room or powder room.
Classic Navy: Benjamin Moore Stunning
Another dark neutral, navy paint coordinates with most decor styles and adds an instant level of classic appeal, while not taking itself too seriously.
Suggested rooms: Similar to a charcoal, this timeless hue adds extra richness to an office or den, dining room or guest bathrooms.
Once you have selected your paint selections, getting the right finish can elevate your home’s appearance, as well as hide any flaws on the walls. As a general guide, the higher the sheen the more durable the paint will be.
Rooms prone to moisture (kitchens, bathrooms): Semi-gloss or high gloss finish.
High-traffic areas (family room, play room, living areas): Satin finish, for easy cleaning.
Low-traffic areas (dining room, bedrooms): Eggshell or matte finish.